My father’s rule was to imagine that you have the solution already. It is a great way to solve problems.
I’d ask him a question: How many horses does it take to do something? And he’d answer right away, “Five horses; can you tell me if I am right or wrong?” By the time I’d figured out that it couldn’t be five, he’d say, “Well if it’s not five, then it must be X. Can you solve for that?” And I could, because the problem was already laid out from the test of whether five horses was correct.
Doing it backward removed the anxiety from the answer. The anxiety, of course, is the fear that the problem can’t be solved—at least not by me.
“In five or six years, electric vehicles are going to offer 500 miles of range… effectively zero lifetime fuel cost, and zero emissions.”
of mysterious problems
are sometimes proven
but coincidental to
seeking their solution.
a troubleshooting tanka